As data volumes continue to explode and technology continues to enable large-scale business intelligence and analytics, the ability to mine and analyze data more deeply, more fervently and more quickly means that business users and data scientists can get insights that can truly spearhead the growth of their companies – in fact, it is fair to say that they have never had it so good.
However, with great power at their finger tips to trawl through vast volumes of data and gain fantastic insight comes great responsibility. While telecom operators may analyze data to undertake sophisticated call-repricing analytics and financial services organizations may want to discover the propensity of customers buying new products, it is imperative that customer data is always respected and treated with care. Yes, it can be tempting to exploit customer data in a way that benefits the company more than it does the customer, but organizations should never abuse that privilege. In fact, they should be careful not to mine and analyze data and then use information to spam the poor customer with irrelevant information, nor should they use the data to exploit habits, customs or demographics that customers consider very personal and private.
So, just because you can analyse and get great insight, doesn’t mean that you should. By all means, use data to help the customer and help your business, but never forget that analytics and business intelligence is a two-way street. If customers or prospects feel that you are overusing their personal information for great business gain and it is to the detriment of them, that could do more irreparable harm to your company than good. And with business reputations at stake, that is not a price worth paying.